First Preview of Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life by Jamie K. Reaser
Come late August, we will celebrate the release of Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life by Jamie K. Reaser, author of Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out and Huntley Meadows. Jamie is a veteran author of Hiraeth Press; we are always excited to see her books come to fruition. As we approach her upcoming release, we wanted to offer a little glimpse of the wonderful collection Jamie has be gathering. Below we have included the Introduction and a poem: The Beloved, for you to enjoy! Check back each week for more previews.
I was first introduced to the concept of ‘ayni,’ a Quechua word, in November of 2000 by mystic don Americo Yabar as we traversed the Andean landscape, visiting Peru’s sacred sites and engaging in ceremonies that had been passed down to contemporary indigenous peoples by their Inca ancestors.
The essence of ayni is sacred reciprocity.
There is no way to directly translate or conceptualize ayni from the perspective of what has come to be known as ‘western culture;’ our cosmology is largely goal-oriented with a focus on tangible outcomes, while ayni emerges out of a universal perspective in which importance is placed on the relational flow of energy as a process of establishing and maintaining balance. Ayni is enacted through the energies exchanged in gifting and receiving, and it knows no bounds – ayni can be established among people, between humans and all other beings, and between all beings and the animate Cosmos.
Ayni can be seen as a code of conduct – a sacred agreement to engage in a balanced exchange between self and other. You give, I give in return. I give, you give in return. What is given may not be anywhere near as important as how it is given. In ayni, it is the heart that counts.
Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life is a poetic reflection of my daily practice of embodying anyi as a core life principle. Each poem arises out of a conversation between my soul and something greater than my Self. I listen, process, reply, and begin listening again. In this book the poems themselves represent my ‘give back’ to Nature and the greater Cosmos for breathing life into me through tangible and intangible relationship.
I choose the word ‘courting’ because it describes an expressive exchange between two would-be lovers; love being the energy with the most creative potential. The word ‘beloved’ appears in the title and in several of the poems as a manifest of the sacred energy that unites all aspects of the universe at the Source. And, since the beloved permeates everything, it is a shape-shifter in this collection – sometimes appearing as an aspect of Self, a plant or animal or element, a notion, a heavenly body, and frequently as the Great Mystery, unknown to even the poet.
…from the Introduction to Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life — Jamie K. Reaser
I have not complete knowledge
of who or what the Beloved is
for I am not complete.
Longed for by name,
draws near enough
to share my breath,
but the Beloved’s touch
is yet too holy to grasp –
I am loved most in the
act of being forsaken
to the Great Mystery.
Truth must be a candle
without a flame
because in the spark lies
the light and the self-destruction.
Courting the Beloved
is the act of apprenticing
to the way Home.
There is no possibility
of return other than to
step upon one’s own
Again and again,
It is at this threshold
that the Beloved
In we go.
For more information on Jamie visit her poetry blog at: http://talkingwaters-poetry.blogspot.com/
Text © 2011 Jamie K. Reaser Excerpt from Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life